Monday, December 10, 2007

what is this thing?

My husband brought this home from the St. Vincent de Paul. What is it? You place a candle in it and then it magnifies and focuses the light... but for what purpose?


Thursday, November 29, 2007

my 3.5 year-old son.

declared tonight, while rolling around on the floor, "I am a portion. I am a portion of the Sun."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Here is a really neat site about hand dyeing cloth. Paul Burch.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Professor Alfredo DiMarino is dead.

And I am in a state of shock, receiving this news now. He was a wonderful man. Remember his Shakespeare class? It was a hoot. And the Modern European novel? Good times. I was trying to contact him to let him know that I was going to librarian school (he was an awesome librarian at Johns Hopkins University in Bologna). I owe a lot to him, and think of our conversations often. I only took three of his classes in one year--one of which I was the only student. I feel very fortunate to have spent this time with him.

He had had heart problems for some time, and was in hospital when things suddenly got worse and he passed away, without knowing what was happening.

If any of you are reading this, send me any memories of DiMarino you might have.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine:

et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Baby Paints.

Yesterday, youngest son asked if the baby was wan artist. We discussed what he does to be an artist--make stuff. Today, with three year-old assurance he proclaimed his baby sister an artist. Here she paints.
Crayola makes a really nice finger paint that is totally nontoxic and washes off of everything.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Broccoli bigger then my babe's head.

No joke. This large and beautiful organic broccoli was grown by Mr. Bibliotecaria at his organic garden at school. There is a tiny portion of the square city-block dedicated to organic farming. The rest is for growing really scary frankenfoods (and the really weird ones they don't even let out of the greenhouses. I've walked by an watch grad students making little marks on their papers and then covering the corn husks with paper bags. I don't know what was going on there. But if you grow buckwheat stalks next to your broccoli, the aphids will attack the old buckwheat and leave the broccoli alone.

We have five more of these--all about this large--so dinner tomorrow will have broccoli soup and some roasted broccoli. I love soup.

We also got our worm bin stocked up with wormy-wormys. The boys were very excited to see the little critters squirming and ... well, squirming about. We picked them up and a few varieties of strawberries to keep inside for a bit at the Spiral Gardens. I saw strawberries in these pots with their runners hanging down as decorative (well, and yes, functional) plants at another garden in Berkeley.

Our carnivorous pitcher plants came out of the fridge, but still haven't started to sprout yet. I hope they do, because they're really quite lovely.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

This was a comment

I made on anther blog. But I liked it so much I thought I would share it with you:

Halloween is not celebrating witches and demons (at least that's not how we do it here). It is All Hallows Eve-it is the eve of All Saints Day. I think that people focus on death because dying is how we become saints. You can't be a saint unless you die.

And that is scary--to everyone. So we dress up in death, and focus on spooky things (the changing of season seasons and the shortening of the day helps, too).

There is nothing demonic about death. In fact, Satan wants you to never think about death. But it is a fact that most folks who because saints, thought about their end a lot. Monks dig graves right outisde their from doors to remind themselves of this end. Satan would be happy if you never considered death--because then you would never really repent anything.

So we dress up and laugh, yes laugh at death--because it is terrifying. We laugh at death and say, "Christ has defeated you, Evil Scary Stuff, so we need not fear you. We cannot escape death, but we don't have to be afraid of it. Would you like a snikers?"

All Hallows Eve allows us to face our fear of the dark--and find out where it is sweet.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

My Dearest Husband.

Baked this apple pie for breakfast. More pictures of the beautiful apples are included, as well.

Yes, Mr. Bibliotecaria made the crust.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Autumn 2007

We picked a bushel of Rome Beauties and Golden Delicious. We went here and heard some trad music beautifully shared. We hiked. I have a bonnet now. All in the last two days.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Note to self.

I have a huge, gregarious pile of work to scan and publish. A small child whose name Saint was celebrated on September 27 shoved part of a deck of cards in the disk drive. I have it on the calendar to take this thing in and have the cards removed, so I can back up the images on the disks, and get this machine cleaned up a bit. Sometimes I get a little wild with image files, and well, they have to fit somewhere.

So don't forget to take it in.

Then there will be a lot of nice stuff in time for autumn light.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Go Vegan Pancakes! and we have a garden!

In the news today, we have successfully created an edible vegan pancake. We call them Bearcakes, after baby bibliotecaria. Rice milk instead of cow, and then a flaxseed egg substitute:

1tbsp flax seed substitute (simply mix 2 1/2oz of ground flax seeds into 8fl oz water. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Cool, then place in a refrigerator).

And then 1/4 to 1/2 of a banana. Then just follow the betty crocker recipe (or your favorite pancake recipe) except with whole wheat or whole grain.... it is delicious, especially covered in Mr. Bibliotecaria's berry sauce.

In other news: WE HAVE A GARDEN! We now have a spot at the local community garden. Mr. Bibliotecaria is volunteering there, and we have one bed, plus this funky spot with a bicycle wheel bean pole... We're planning on putting garlic and shallots in the ground this week, and then planting some chard, beets and lettuce--as well as a ground covering that we can then turn under for compost--fava beans, buckwheat or vetch. But we need to does some measuring for nutrients to see if we have to add anything (nitrogen, etc.) and then make our selection.

It is really a lovely community garden, with lots of children and a cool bench/meeting area with elephants and stuff. There are several fruit trees, and a worm man.

It would be nice to be able to grow stuff at our home, but this is a nice bike ride from our place with the added bonus of neighbors.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

orange revolution

Although I do not vote for one side or the other in the politics, I cannot help but be in touch with current events. I feel a responsibility as a citizen of the world to try to understand what is happening. Most of the time I just feel this ache in my heart.
The attempted Orange Revolution in Burma reminds me of something Thomas Merton wrote in his journal, "Christ is where men are beaten and starved."

So I sit here, and watch these events unfold across the world as a stage, and I am usually left disheartened or muttering. I try to teach my children how to be have, and to be a moral agent in the world, only to turn on the radio ad hear about all of these powerful adults across cultures and timezones behaving like... selfish, evil, petty-- what is the word? I almost wrote animals, but that doesn't quite cast the image properly.

So although I listen to the events of the world, and try to make sense of them, I do not know where to begin to write about them. It mostly makes me sad.
And so I will end with a quote by Léon Bloy, hugely admired soul:

Man has places in his heart which do not yet exist, and into them he enters suffering in order that they may have existence.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Boys shirtless in Seattle

Weed, Portland, Seattle, Portland, Weed

Our adventure to Portland and Seattle to see the lovely Ms. Goodwin wed Mr. Mike and become Mrs. and Mr. was grand. It was good to connect with all the peeps and figure out how to move closer to y'all.

But I just can't get the library in Seattle out of my mind. Wow.

This library has an entire theater just for children's stuff. And the books! The dood who was in ob designing the San Francisco public library though that books, physical books, would be replaced by digital media.

But libraries are even today more important because of they are full of books--one can browse and ready freely (without a credit card or social security number), in the face of all the other avenues of media (all of this digital stuff). Because no matter what, nothing will ever be as cool as a lovely book in the lap.

So I've just been meditating on the importance of free information, and youth services that have lots of books and good, natural lighting. I've also been reading this work, which makes me paranoid and also want to strive to protect culture even more.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Portland or Placerville?

Both Mr. Bibliotecaria and I are native Californians. But we would, some day, like to own a home. I want to put a beautiful little statue of St. Joseph in my front yard, and on the other side have one of Mary. Both would have special flowers planted for each one. And then Saint Fiacre (patron of simple living) will have a place, too.

Our five year plan has as its end owning a home with land. And we are certainly more interested in the land--we are totally open to a yurt, or other dwelling.

We are currently interested in Placerville (Gold Country, CA--Sierra Foothills) or Portland, OR. Now all you Portland, OR folk--again, it is difficult choice for us to abandon the Mother Land... But we do love Portland. We could maintain our ever-hip urban lifestyle while growing things in our much dreamed of backyard.

But for now, we'll sit tight and enjoy the view.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Salvatore Quasimodo


    Ognuno sta solo sul cuor della terra
    trafitto da un raggio di sole:
    ed è subito sera

Friday, August 31, 2007

Boys hiking with their papa

Is a sight that warms my heart. Even if it wasn't my beloved husband and my sons, looking out at the beauty seen from Sibley.

My boys love to hike and camp. First son constantly asks, "When can we go camping for 100 days?!" I typically answer when baby bibliotecaria is old enough to walk most of the day. I'm not sure when that will be, but we would love to do the Pacific Coast trail as a family. Maybe when she is four years old? Is that asking a lot? But I am constantly surprised at their ability to walk significant distances and love every minute of life outside.

As a kid one of my favorite books was My Side of the Mountain. I loved this book and the possibility it presented to my as a kid. I recently brought this home form the library, and was pleasantly surprised. Not to say that the movie is better then the book, but I remember the ending of the book being kind of tacked on--it fell short of the rest of the book. The movie did away with this ending. I'm sure if I re-read the book now, it would be better then the movie, but the movie wasn't bad. The book is on our read a-loud list.

So, if you have any good multi-day family hikes, please let me know! We're planning ahead for more scenes like the one above (bench is optional).

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Sunroom

In this urban jungle we do have an oasis of childhood. We call it "the sun room," although it is more nearly an enclosed porch, with huge windows all around. It is mostly dedicated to the children--it is a place where they can experiment and create on their own.

Split peas! I got a bunch of bags of these and they make a lovely tactile 'sand.' Second son especially loves them, but first son will spend a lot of time pouring and sifting... Sure, I find them in weird places all over the house (they like to stick to bare feet), but they are relatively simple to sweep up. And the sweeping is another game with a 3 year-old sized broom.

This is where we made a huge vinegar & baking soda volcano. We've made all kinds of 'machines', and watch the garbage trucks outside and the birds visit our seed feeder. I plan to make a fort for the boys and have a little climbing structure for baby bibliotecaria in the works for when she is one--at Christmastime.

The sun on the wall above was salvaged from a neighboring dumpster on San Pablo when we lived in the Creamery Art Studios (thank you Martian Gallery Man). We though it was too beautiful to be dumped, and so it has hung on the wall in all of our homes since living there. And is any space complete without Christmas Lights?

We love you, little sunny room.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

oh, yeah, uh, I got into graduate school

I have a new number and everything, too.

It actually feels really good to be in school again (although, reflecting on the past six years, I've kind of always been in school).


Fuck you, Vegan Pancakes!

You have betrayed me--with your sweet promises of lightness, and fluffiness, and no milk proteins to hurt baby bibliotecaria's little belly (she has a pretty rare sensitivity to milk protein, not an allergy per se, but the milk protein in my mama's milk causes all kinds of harm to her little system. Consequently, I've cut it out of everything that I eat. No whey or all that other funky stuff in processed food, along with the obvious cheese and ice cream, etc.)

You were neither light nor fluffy, and barely cooked completely. Further, you were a pain in my rear to prepare--cutting the butter substitute with the whole wheat flour... my last can of pureed pumpkin I gave to you.

Get out! Just get out of my kitchen... before I do something drastic!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stranger than Fiction (2006)

I saw this film for the first time the other night and was surprisingly impressed. The Dustin Hoffman Character, much like the Metaphysical Detective he plays in I Heart Huckabees, I think is my favorite, but the freaky author (played by Emma Thompson) reminds me of one of my best friends, whom I miss very much. Will Ferrell, is Will Ferrell.

Complete with Italo Calvino quotes, see it if you haven't already...

it is a Stevie day (all feathered at the edges)

get your portrait with Stevie

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Why I have pictures of diaper covers below

Yes, I do like cloth diapers, but that is not why I have pictures of them below. I have them there because they are for sale. Yes, i deal diapers on the black market.

Actually, baby bibliotecaria has outgrown them and I am switching tracks with her--because the synthetics tend to harm her very delicate skin. So we're going all natural fibers, cotton, hemp, and wool.

Most of the covers I am donating to my friend who is running a Montessori Nursery and will need cloth diapers for the babes. I think it is so cool that she is going to have all cloth at her daycare, and I would like to support her in the small way that I can.

But, I'd also like to put some of the money already sunk in diapers for the future.

So, that is why I have pictures of diaper covers on the web log.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Berry Plush Diaper cover

Lavender Fields, Jam tots, size Medium

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I love my little family

Today was baby bibliotecaria's first cable car ride. She slept through it, but her big brothers were very excited for her. I was kind of overwhelmed by the surrounding tourism that I forgot to snap a picture.

Not that I don't like visitors to our city--I love them. I am just easily overwhelmed by crowds.

We began at the cable car museum, which the boys love. It boggles my mind, to see those huge wheels spinning, pulling these little cars up these huge hills...

After our cable car adventure, we went by Ali's Coffee shop, and I ran into my good friend from school in Firenze, Italia--Betsy! She was jogging about.

I haven't seen B. for over two years.

But I just really enjoyed looking at my beautiful family all day, and my handsome husband. That was the best part of the day.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I am still waiting....

I am now Incomplete - Verified... which means:

Your application has been reviewed by the Data Specialist in Graduate Studies & Research.
-Check your "To Do" list in for a complete list of outstanding documents and instructions.

So I've checked it... and my transcripts are somewhere in the mail room, or in the trash or something. Maybe they're in someone else's file?

The annoying thing is that I can check all this stuff--giving the illusion of actually doing something, even if it is really just a frustrated impatient waiting.

I just want to be Complete.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thank you M.T. for Happy Lion

He is first son's most favorite companion. He goes on our trips, and his absence is felt at bedtime. We have had mass lion hunts that have kept us up, searching, past bedtime.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I sent it all in

I had such fun mailing in my transcripts to SJSU yesterday. They were received at 4:27am today (thank you ). Now I wait...

And seek out daycare for 2 kids. Which is really difficult [for me]. I've decided that they have to go to the same place and that money is no object. I find a school I like that will take both kids, and then I discover that there is a 9 month waiting list. Fun.

I think I can wait though because I can perhaps get Mr. Bibliotecaria to watch the little ones on the few days I have to commute to school and do the work before/after the kids sleep. Coffee is my friend. Then there is summer...

And then I'll be ready for internship, or whatever adult endeavors my life brings me. I am terrified.

I think, what if there is a huge earthquake--how will I protect my children... and the list goes on and on... I guess it doesn't help that oldest son has had special drills for when the 'bad people' come to school, where they all have to hide in the cloakroom... life in the era of school shootings is .... I'm having trouble finding a different adjective other than terrifying.

So now I'll fill out the application for my kids' preschool. Which will, incidentally, cost a lot more than my M.L.I.S. program.

Not with a bang

But with a whimper. T.S. Elliott gave us these lines, and he believed that civilization would end with people shooting each other in the streets. Well, L.A. and Chicago go on, with people shooting each other in the streets.

Forget Iran having nukes, I think that importing poisoned food from China will kill us all. I am all for free trade, qua qua qua, but it is completely insane for us to not grow our own food and depend on another nation for food, no matter how cheap.

This situation of eating things that we know not what they contain, coupled with converting the great central valley of California from the best agricultural land the world has ever know into track homes, makes me think that the end is, truly, neigh.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I doubt the God would write the Divine Comedy

of Dante. This is too human.

I think that if God were to write a play it would certainly be a musical. There would be lots of tap dancing and beautiful ladies and handsome gentlemen. Synchronized swimming, swings dropping from on high. Everyone would know the words and the dance steps.

Everyone would fall in love and have a dance partner. When the number was over, it would be so good that you will still hum it in your head, and never want it to end.

Baby Bibliotecaria

Please read

this web log.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Sun Is

Do you watch the sun set? As an undergraduate in San Francisco I would find my way to Ocean Beach almost every day (except the El Nino year of '96-'97) to watch the sun set. I had two spots complete with striking cliffs and trees to perch within, and watch the sun slip to the other side of the earth.

I like to think of it not so much as setting, but going to the other side. Setting speaks only of the sun disappearing from sight--but we know that it is actually only made invisible because of the rotation of the Earth. Strangely, this is they only time of the day when we can gaze directly at the sun, if only for a few seconds. Why would one want to miss that moment?

As an adolescent, I would retreat to the Pacific... I would paddle out on my board and sit on it. Although the surf was sometimes not so great, this was the best time for me to be in the water, because I would sit on my board and watch the sun sink into the ocean, being rocked back and forth, just out past the break.

There was a man who we always found at Ocean Beach at this important time of day. He had two frisbees and would alternate throwing one into the stiff wind coming from Hawaii and beyond over the Pacific. The disc would spin and hover in the air, and then be returned to the man. Sometimes he would catch it, and then throw the other disc into the air, have it spin away and then return to him to be caught at times, at other times dropped into the broken wave.

Now living in the East Bay I sometimes make the effort to catch the sun set. But it isn't quite the same, even from the towing vantage of the hills, or the point of Alameda. I think that it is right for the Pacific--violent and vast--to swallow the sun. Nothing else can then give birth to the source of light and life on the other side of the world.

Now I sound like some kind of hippie.

What is it?

No purchase necessary.Void where prohibited.



Thursday, July 12, 2007

what does it mean in ordinary time?

What the heck was I thinking?

I was trying to paint Easter, and then when I look at it on the wall now in ordinary time, it makes more sense.

But it isn't Easter. Not quite.

It is really hard to paint Easter.

I think it is still too... What? Still to something-else-other-than-Easter.

I wanted to see Mary Magdalen and the tomb without the boulder blocking the entrance. And she kind of looking over her shoulder at Us.

But now I think it is a group of beautiful veiled modest women, or one woman, all intertwined within herself/each other.

Image on the right is stamped crayon and watercolor.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This is where I used to live, but then I moved.

this was a bit of poetry in spam email received today.

Then she twisted the nozzle off and walked back along the hoses length, looping it over her arm. And, as he also so often did, he tried to block this memory; and found himself a second too late.

Sometimes I feel compelled to check spam for the weird parts included in the message to sneak past the filters. I would love to be hired for such a position, I think that perhaps this way my poetry might be read, accidentally.

Or is it sentences from random books; selected from random books and put together?

What do you think?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

La mort veut être belle

copywrite 2006 La Bibliotecaria Laura; not to be used without permission.